BASF is raising its annual capacity to produce ethanolamines from 182,000 to 230,000 metric tons. The progressive capacity increase of plants at the two integrated Verbund sites of Ludwigshafen, Germany, and Antwerp, Belgium, is to be completed by fall 2006. „We are responding to the continuing high level of external and internal demand for these products,” says Dr. Winfried Müller, head of the Regional Business Unit Amines within BASF’s Intermediates operating division. BASF counts among the most important global suppliers of amines and is the market leader for ethanolamines in Europe.
“This high demand is driven by a recovery of the agricultural sector and steady and strong growth in the detergents market. Especially as regards monoethanolamine, demand is clearly up in the wood preservatives sector,” Müller adds. Wood preservatives based on monoethanolamine have been gaining ground in the US and Europe since wood preserving agents containing chrome, copper and arsenic were banned. Müller explains: “Our monoethanolamine is an advantageous alternative offer for our customers.”
Ethanolamines are used to make surfactants for detergents and cleaning agents, but also wood preservatives, herbicides, gas scrubbing process chemicals, coolants, lubricants and products for the cement industry. A major part of the ethanolamine output is processed further within BASF’s integrated Verbund structure, for example into ethyleneamines, another important product group within the company’s amine portfolio.
BASF produces ethanolamines at its Verbund sites in Ludwigshafen and Antwerp, which provide full backward integration for this area, too. The company therefore provides high-level delivery reliability and consistently good product quality.
The Operating Division Intermediates of the BASF Group develops, produces and markets the world's largest range of intermediates. The most important of the division's more than 600 products include amines, diols, polyalcohols and acids. Among other applications, intermediates are used as starting materials for, coatings, plastics, pharmaceuticals, textile fibers, detergents and crop protectants. The operating division has access to plants at 15 production sites in Europe, Asia, and the Americas. In 2004, this BASF operating division with 2.850 employees generated world sales of EUR 2 billions (2003: EUR 1,8 billions). For more information, go to www.basf.de/intermediates.